President Obama on Friday announced five changes in US surveillance policy, a move he attributed in part to the revelations about the scope of US intelligence gathering made possible by documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The most significant change is an end to the bulk collection of telephone records -- phonecall meta-data -- under Section 215. The President said he is ordering the gradual discontinuation of this program and the establishment of "a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk meta-data."
But the President conceded that alternatives, such as having a third-party or individual businesses retain data until the government comes calling, pose problems. It remains to be seen exactly what form such data collection will take.
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